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Cagers work hard, play hard at Fife Camp

July 28, 2010 - Dan Fife was proud as he watched the players in the gym on the hot Friday afternoon.

The long-time Boys Varsity Basketball and Hall of Fame coach saw a lot of determination in all of the players during his Dan Fife Basketball Camp.

"It's the hottest week we have had," he said. "They have really worked hard and not complained. We lost only one kid - he twisted his ankle. Everyone else hung in there."

The attitude they had during the hot week will help them in the future.

"With as hot as it has been there is a lot of people who can find a lot of excuses," said Fife. "These kids learned excuses aren't part of athletics. It would be easy not to play hard, it would be easy to make excuses, easy not to play every day - but they didn't."

The players came in every morning at 8 a.m. ready to go.

"Most importantly they are not laying around the house doing nothing," Fife noted. "They are out there working hard in a good environment with other kids and our coaches try to reinforce what they are getting at home."

Throughout the week boys, going into 7th-9th grade in the fall, worked one-on-one moves, passing and pivoting, ball handling and rebounding and shooting jump shots.

"They really moved the ball well," said Fife. "After a couple of game we talked to them about moving it."

The freshman players took on current varsity players and past Wolves in an All-Star game on the last day.

The young players scored two points three minutes into the game and received the loudest cheers from the campers on the sidelines.

The boys lost, 28-11.

All of the campers gathered around Fife for the last pep talk for the summer.

"I am proud of you," he said to all. "Thank you for your hard work and effort."

He reminded them it's not what the players did during camp during the week but what they decided to do with it when they left.

With the final talk came pointers - listen, follow the gut, treat others with respect and avoid drugs and alcohol.

"I know it's out there," said Fife. "It can ruin your career. It will come in when you are feeling bad and down. Girls will come in when you have had a good game. Both can make you lose focus."

The last point was make their parents proud.

"They will get tough on you because they care," said Fife. "Listen to them and thank them."

Campers came various cities in southeastern Michigan - Ann Arbor, Utica, Brandon, Lake Orion, Waterford, Holly, Everest Academy, Marist Academy and Lapeer.

The Clarkston players are always a treat because Fife and his coaching staff haven't seen them since the winter.

"We get to watch how they improved, how they approach a game and how much they have grown," said Fife.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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